TORONTO — Shares in Research In Motion bounced back Friday after U.K.-based carrier Vodaphone experienced technical problems that disrupted BlackBerry service to customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Shares were up almost 10 per cent, or $1.16, to $12.95 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Earlier Friday, shares in Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) traded at a low of $11.48. The stock has traded between $6.10 and $18.23 over the past year.
Vodaphone PLC said the issue was caused by a router error and that service was being restored.
"We apologize to customers for any inconvenience caused and we will provide updates as necessary,'' Vodaphone said in an emailed statement.
RIM said it was working with Vodaphone to resolve the issue.
"All BlackBerry services are operating normally, but we are aware that a wider Vodafone service issue is impacting some of our BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa,'' RIM said.
The disruption, while relatively minor in terms of the BlackBerry global subscriber base, came as RIM works to improve its image and launch the BlackBerry 10 generation of smartphones.
The Waterloo, Ont., smartphone maker has had several outages in the last couple of years, including one in October 2011 that knocked out service for millions of users.
RIM hasn't disclosed when the BlackBerry 10 smartphones will hit shelves or how much they will cost, but is scheduled to unveil the new devices on Jan. 30 in New York.
The BlackBerry 10 is seen as a make-or-break product for Research In Motion, which has lost significant market share to Apple's iPhone and devices using the Android operating system, particularly smartphones and tablets from Samsung.
BMO Capital Markets lowered its price target for RIM stock to US$9 from US$12 on Thursday, based on revised earnings estimates for the coming year and 2014 following a visit to the Consumer Electronics Show in Los Vegas.
"We believe the stock will be driven by the reception and results of BB10 products over the next few months, which we don't expect to be positive,'' BMO analyst Tim Long wrote in a research note.
"Over the intermediate term, we believe falling service revenues may be more negative for the shares.''
The company, which released better-than-expected results in December, disclosed during its conference call that it would change the pricing strategy for its services _ causing several analysts to lower their earnings estimates for RIM.
Apple CEO <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/tim-cook-apology-apple-maps_n_1922378.html">Tim Cook issued an apology</a> Friday for the company's new Maps app. Cook directed users to other map apps in the Apple store or websites like Google or Nokia until Apple's version is fixed.
Bank Of America Debit Card Fee
Bank of America announced last year that it was planning to charge customers a $5 fee to use their debit cards. After an intense customer backlash, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/bank-of-america-debit-card-fee_n_1069425.html">company dropped the plan</a>.
In 1985 <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7209828/ns/us_news/t/it-seemed-good-idea-time/#.UGXCa_mfHll">Coca-Cola decided to mess</a> with its iconic product, according to NBCNews.com. The result: Epic failure. With customers comparing the change to trampling the American flag, the company pulled the product after just a few months.
Pepsi <a href="http://investorplace.com/2011/02/loud-sun-chips-pepsi-branding-disaster-failure/">launched a clear version</a> of its cola drink in 1993, but the product didn't last long. The company pulled it from the shelves in 1994, according to InvestorPlace.com.
Lawn darts, everyone's favorite 1980s backyard game, turned out to be pretty dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/toys/4347051#slide-1">recalled the toys in December 1988</a> after many were injured and three people died sending the steel darts through the air, according to Popular Mechanics.
In 1957, Ford launched the Edsel, a car the company billed as hot and revolutionary, according to the <em>Washington Post</em>. Problem: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/03/AR2007090301419.html">It turned out to be sort of "blah."</a> By the time the company pulled the car in 1959, it had lost about $250 million.
When it debuted in January, 2007, Microsoft's newest operating system was <a href="http://www.spike.com/articles/n2yhee/the-top-10-epic-fails-in-product-launch-history?page=2">slammed by consumers</a>. As a result, businesses and personal computer users were slow to adopt it, according to Spike.
The Arch Deluxe
McDonald's launched a luxury burger geared towards the adult set in 1996 with a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1998/04/19/magazine/steal-this-burger.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm">$100 million advertising campaign</a>, according to <em>The New York Times</em>. But the mature hamburger was ultimately a flop.
In 1993, Apple <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/photos/top-25-biggest-product-flops-of-all-time/#photo-11">launched the PDA device, a precursor to the palm pilot</a>, according to DailyFinance, but it turned out to be a bust, thanks to its high price and bulkiness. The company pulled the Newton in 1998.
Sony poured <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/1989-09-28/business/fi-409_1_sony-corp">20 years of research into its Betamax</a> videocassette recorder, but was ultimately beat out by the competition, according to the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. Matsushita developed the VHS system, which became more popular among companies making the devices -- and companies making films -- rendering the Betamax obsolete.
In September of last year, Neflix announced that it would be separating its online streaming service from its DVD service and calling <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/30/tech-fails-2011_n_1173313.html">the DVD branch "Qwickster."</a> The proposal turned out to be such an epic fail that the company scrapped the experiment last November before it even launched.
Clairol's "Touch Of Yogurt" Shampoo
When Clairol came out with its yogurt-based shampoo in 1979, they thought it would be a success, thanks to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/worst-product-launches-ever_n_1182219.html">widespread interest in the test marketing</a> phase. But it turned out to be a flop; customers apparently don't want to put food in their hair.
BlackBerry launched its Playbook without apps for email, contacts or any of the other things people use tablets for. The result: The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/30/tech-fails-2011_n_1173313.html#s577006&title=BlackBerry_PlayBook">company slashed prices</a> on the device as the holidays approached.
Toshiba's HD DVD experiment ended up <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/hd-dvd-post-mortem-why-did-toshiba-fail/294">being trounced by Sony's</a> Blu-Ray player as studios and customers opted for the latter.
The car deemed by many to be one of the worst vehicles ever exported to the U.S. was met with widespread criticism when it <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500395_162-4616249.html">landed on American shores in 1986</a>. Available for just $3,990, the car did terribly in crash tests, according to CBS News.
Nike Black And Tan Sneakers
Nike launched a sneaker (not pictured) in the lead up to St. Patrick's Day that offended some Irish people. The shoe called "Black and Tan"<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/nike-black-and-tan_n_1344197.html"> shares its name</a> with a British paramilitary unit that attacked Irish civilians in the 1920s.